Welcome back to our annual series of season wrap-up posts, which we cleverly titled as “The Season (2018-19),” because we’re creative like that. Your donation dollars at work, folks.
Teams are being selected on a random basis. Our 23rd installment for this season, and third from 1A-District 4, is Wolfson.
Each The Season post will have the same content as they’ve had for the past five seasons.
You can see everything I have on the Wolfpack in 2018-19 here –> WOLFSON
Win/loss record: 12-18 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Wolfpack’s performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: Wolfson spent the predominant part of its season competing in duals, with just one IBT prior to the post-season traditional tournament series. The Wolfpack started at the Matanzas Duals, going 1-3 on the first Saturday of the season. After a pair of midweek triangulars closed out Wolfson’s December calendar, the Wolfpack returned to the mats on the second week of January, with the USMC Duals at Terry Parker. There, the Wolfpack went 4-3, with one of those three losses by criteria. In their lone IBT showing at Gateway, the Wolfpack did struggle, taking 13th in the 15-team Jacksonville conference meet. The situation was somewhat different at Parker Duals, where Wolfson was 5-4 in the two-day tournament, but midweek duals in January and February saw the Wolfpack go 2-4. Wolfson was fifth at the 1A-District 4 traditional tournament, with four region qualifiers, two of whom will return in 2019-20. The Wolfpack will have seven returning starters with either post-season or significant regular-season experience, with a couple of other kids who were just short on the matches front.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2019-20 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Andrew Harbin (sophomore, 20-10 at 106, 1 match from regions); Max Lewallen (sophomore, 19-19 at 126, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Aakash Thornton (sophomore, 14-12 at 132, 1 match from regions); Cameron Frison (senior, 24-14 at 152, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Elijah Galarza (senior, 12-10 at 170/182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Devin Collins (sophomore, 3-9 at 220, 1 match from regions); Ernest Soles (sophomore, 5-14 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Keayon Gray (9-10 at 113, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Chris Santiago (9-6 at 113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Aries Fahnbulleh (25-7 at 120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Hays Lewallen (5-17 at 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Kevon Bryant (14-13 at 160, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
2018-19 MVP: Junior Cameron Frison had the most successful season, both in terms of wins and advancement, of any of the Wolfpack wrestlers that competed in the post-season. Frison was 5-2 at USMC Duals and was one of the Wolfpack’s two placers at Gateway (fourth at 152). Frison was 7-2 at Parker Duals as well and was Wolfson’s lone finalist in the 1A-District 4 traditional tournament, as well as the only returning wrestler to win a match in the region tournament. Frison has been, each of the past two off-seasons, willing to engage in significant time on the mats during the off-season and it’s paid off. If he can get some weightroom work and get stronger to go with that mat time, he might be a state possibility in 2019-20.
2019-20 captain: There’s a couple of kids who might earn this based on record, but I look also at post-season advancement as well as record, and based on that, I could certainly expect to see a lot of development over the next three years from freshman Max Lewallen. Lewallen showed no fear in going up against some really good and experienced upperclassmen at either at 126 or occasionally 132, and part of the uphill battle he faced was simply battling against longer and stronger kids in this weight class. Those are some things that he will be able to overcome with development. After being 9-13 at one point of the year, Lewallen was 10-6 down the stretch, with two district traditional wins to be the only other wrestler, besides Frison, to make it out to regions.
Heaton’s Hero: I think this might be a first where I’ve selected multiple family members from one family for my three awards, but I think it works in this case. I don’t remember seeing senior Hays Lewallen in prior wrestling seasons before this one (checks 3 previous years’ worth of records — Nope). Hays didn’t start in the lineup at 138 until mid-January, and essentially had a six-week high school career. And he struggled in most matches — after a first-night win by fall over Paxon — without another contested win in the regular season. Nevertheless, when the chips were down at districts, Hays picked up a consi-side win by fall to clinch a region spot and extend his season for another week. As a first-year senior. I liked seeing that, and it’s that that nets Hays Lewallen the Heaton’s Hero award for Wolfson.
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